RESTART “RESearch and innovation on future Telecommunications systems and networks, to make Italy more smart (RESTART)” program, funded by the European Union under the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) of “NextGenerationEU” is a comprehensive program, which brings together and integrates the main stakeholders Italian telecommunications sector, allowing the realization of specific research projects, with concrete and measurable results, to jointly by universities, research centers, and public administrations, within a global framework that includes a long-term vision, transversal actions and support, and adequate tools and facilitators. Within the framework of the RESTART partnership on “Telecommunications of the Future”, the Politecnico di Bari is a project partner of the structuring project Spoke 6 “Innovative Architectures and Extreme Environments”. In the COHERENT architecture, the concept of Digital Twin (DT) will be used to associate a digital counterpart to each constituent element of a telecommunication system (like routers, switches, hosts, as well as entire subnets or network segments). Each DT represents the entity in all its characteristics, including TLC functions, operating conditions, and other external parameters. Since communication and networking functions are the results of mechanisms executed by the network entities and segments related to these DTs, the overall network architecture will be controlled through the interaction among one or multiple ecosystems of DTs. The proposed approach represents a disruptive evolutional leap well beyond the traditional layering introduced by ISO/OSI and pursues, in line with EU policies, the maximization of both Key Value and Key Performance Indicators.
The COHERENT project introduces three main project goals, as defined in what follows:
- Goal 1: COHERENT will introduce an architectural framework capable of supporting key value indicators (KVIs) beyond the traditional, performance ones (KPIs).
- Goal 2: By fostering innovation atop current standards, it will develop and open architecture that leverages Digital Twins and ensures a coherence both in technical terms, i.e., behavior between the physical infrastructure and its digital counterpart, and a business point of view, hence the ecosystem in which the network operates.
- Goal 3: Support simple and scalable monitoring, optimization, and management framework for networks spanning over heterogenous communication segments.